Cataloging Global Toxic Waste Sites


The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has identified tens of thousands of polluted sites in the US, in need of an immediate containment/solution.(2) The National Priorities List (NPL) is the list of sites of national priority among the “known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants throughout the United States and its territories”.(3) The U.S. EPA’s National Priorities List for urgent remediation currently lists more than 1,300 sites.2The World Health Organization’s global assessment is based on satellite data and modelling overlapped on the database of cities, it is based on voluntary reporting.(4) According to the WHO, 9/10 people on the planet breathe polluted air, and it kills 7 million people each year, almost all of them in poor countries in Asia and Africa.4About a quarter of deaths from heart disease, stroke and lung cancer can be attributed to air pollution, the WHO says. (4)

The Toxic Sites Identification Program (TSIP) is the largest database of polluted sites of its kind, which assesses and maps out contaminated sites that pose a health risk to communities to more than 80 million poor people around the world (which is a small fraction of the overall total number of toxic sites that exist; data and trends in the database indicates that as many as 200 million people may be affected worldwide).(1) This data is available online at www.contaminatedsites.org, where database users can access information on more than 3,100 identified polluted sites and over 1,800 contaminated sites worldwide. Unfortunately, this only represents a small fraction of the overall total number of toxic sites that exist.(1) It’s important that the database grows with updated and new information, so that the scope of pollution’s true impact will become sharper.(1) The effort to combat global pollution fight has been challenged by a lack of data, you cannot manage what you cannot measure.(1)

In order to carry out TSIP site assessments, a network of national experts called Pure Earthvisits and documents hazardous waste sites trains a multitude of professionals in each country to spread out and document hazardous waste sites.(2) Approximately 150 investigators and 90 government representatives have been trained to identify and assess toxic sites in over 14 countries.(1) The results of all their assessments are put into the database using a rapid assessment tool called the Initial Site Screening (ISS) protocol.(2) The ISS identifies key features of a contaminated site such as estimated population at risk, key pollutant information, human exposure pathway data and sampling data.(2) This database aids governments and experts to make better-informed decisions about pollution in their countries, and prioritize cleanup to help the most vulnerable populations.(1) It helps researchers doing pollution studies in low- and middle-income countries.(4)

“By gathering and making this information available where it is most needed, the database will give those on the frontlines the knowledge to fight pollution where it is doing the most harm.”(1)

The World Health Organization’s global assessment is based on satellite data and modelling overlaid on the database of cities, it is based on voluntary reporting.(4) According to the WHO, 9/10 people on the planet breathe polluted air, and it kills 7 million people each year, almost all of them in poor countries in Asia and Africa.4About a quarter of deaths from heart disease, stroke and lung cancer can be attributed to air pollution, the WHO says.(4)

(Image was taken from the website of the 4thresource listed under my “Resources” List)

Resources:

  1. Database of World's Polluted Sites Is Now Online. (2017, March 07). Retrieved from https://www.pureearth.org/blog/global-database/

  2. Toxic Sites Identification Program (TSIP). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.pureearth.org/projects/toxic-sites-identification-program-tsip/

  3. Superfund: National Priorities List (NPL). (2018, June 04). Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-national-priorities-list-npl

  4. Miles, T., & Reuters. (n.d.). These are the world's most polluted cities. Retrieved from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/05/these-are-the-worlds-most-polluted-cities/

#Catalogue #cataloging #catalogingglobaltoxicwastesites #waste #wastesites #wastesite #globalwaste #toxic

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